In my few short months working for The AS Review, I've had some grand adventures. As I've climbed the ladder from grocery correspondent to Halloween correspondent to former NASA astronaut correspondent, there's been one man by my side the whole way, helping me out and showing me the ropes. That man is The AS Review photographer Matt Kenny.
After more than three years of loyal service to this publication, Kenny has departed to the land of ghosts of The AS Review past.
Kenny's dedication to his job as a photographer is legendary to current and former staff of the paper.
“I always had a sinking suspicion that Matt didn't ever sleep,” said Devin O'Reilly, editor-in-chief of The AS Review from 2005 to 2006. “He attacks everything he does with such a seemingly single-minded focus that, after all those foci are taken into account, it seems there wouldn't be any room left for basic physiological considerations.”
Kenny was instrumental in making the photographer job a salaried position rather than an hourly one. Salaried employees are expected to fulfill leadership rolls in the AS, Publicity Center Coordinator Jeff Bates said.
“Oftentimes people will rise to that leadership level, and show us more than we ever predicted we could get from that position,” Bates said. “That's certainly been the case with Matt.”
According to Bates, one of Kenny's most valuable skills has been his ability to use lighting and backdrops to set up “still life” photos.
“He spent like 30 hours working on his portfolio, trying to figure out which photo of Legos on money looked better,” said Scott McDowell, editor-in-chief of The AS Review from 2006 to 2007.
In my own experience with Kenny, I've found him to be a person who not only takes his own job seriously, but takes the paper seriously as well. He cares about the reputation of The AS Review. He's been much more than a photographer. He's written stories, designed covers, and even helped with editing.
“Matt takes that same level of interest to everything he does,” Bates said. “He's the same with human beings. If you ever talk to Matt, you get the sense that he really cares about treating you right.”
Photography is not Kenny's only skill. He is also studying cartography and geographic information systems at Western.
“I don't know what to say about Matt Kenny that hasn't already been said about Amerigo Vespucci,” McDowell said. “The man loves to make maps. It's his passion.”
During Kenny's employment as photographer, the Publicity Center bought new lighting equipment, backdrops, and a new camera, Bates said. Also, with all the photos Kenny has archived over the years, there is a huge library to draw from for future issues, O'Reilly said.
“Even with Matt gone on a day-to-day basis, the Review will benefit from his former presence for some time to come,” O'Reilly said.